CLMN | The octopus syndrome

CLMN | The octopus syndrome

14 november 2017

Before you google yet another one of my invented diseases and subsequently begin to question the title of this story, let me tell you this. With a new academic year having begun and a shiny new batch of freshmen accompanying it, the university is full of people suffering from the so-called octopus syndrome.

The campus is teeming with people incapable of making choices and decisions: just like an octopus, they wrap their 8 arms around 8 different things. The only thing that they seem to forget however, is that unlike an octopus, they only have 2 arms, 24 hours and 2,000 calories to accomplish this all. What comes next is an exercise in balancing too many responsibilities and commitments, often with catastrophic results.

If you think that I am mocking or judging the people who do this: I am. But I do not do it without some hypocrisy. As you may have guessed by now, I am also infected. You only have to ask me how calculus went in my first year to find out.

I was/am, like so many students, guilty of overstretching my abilities and myself to the point of a burnout, be it through joining too many activities, scheduling a lot of sport sessions and going to all of my lectures. I mean, who would have thought that there would be so many of them.

This applied for much of my first year and I thought that it would’ve gotten better, but, as my universe grew and I with it, I found more things to do and was presented with more opportunities. I naturally said yes to all of them.

A bad decision, at the time. But eventually after a couple of months of adaptation & intense pressure and even pain (I am a pretty stubborn octopus after all), I would argue that I became a better version of myself. I still do not have the 8 arms of an octopus, but at least I have become a person with the ability to juggle 8 different things.

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